Blending & Brushes

Good morning Artists!

                      Ever since I started painting I have used the Mark Carder method... where you get the right color you place it down and pretty much leave it... with no blending or very little blending. I personally think its a fantastic way to paint, and as he says in his video with the pear, at rooms length it looks great... the issue I am having is, when I paint and post my work in which people aren't seeing the actual painting, but rather are seeing a photograph of the painting on my website, I have seen friends, zooming in analyzing the painting, and ask , why does it look like that... I take the phone and place it far away and tell them to look at the whole picture, and they finally see it... I think if your work is in a gallery or something and people actually see the painting, its fantastic, but if they are viewing off of a screen, perhaps blending will be more useful? anyone else similar problems or thoughts?

What is the best method to blend? Do you place the colors as you see them down, then with a clean soft brush try to blend the lines together? What is the best brush to use for that?

Thanks everyone!


  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] admin
    edited December 2015
    Don't take photographs with your phone, resize it to the size you want people to see it at online, and most importantly… paint what you like. You can blend if you want; don't blend if you don't want to; mix and match approaches as desired. Don't try so hard to please people — do your thing.

    Incidentally… I've heard people ask this same question in our YouTube comments a few times. I don't understand it, because I have never encountered this problem myself. If anything I like a lot of "messy" work better when I view it up close, or at least it lets me appreciate a different aspect of the painting.

    Do you have any photos of your paintings you can post? That would probably help people give feedback on what they might do differently. 
  • This is an interesting discussion to me. I think David's advice to "paint what you like" is well said. At the same time I like paintings that draw me in. Something I see from across the room that makes me want to know more and get closer. There are a number of artists I like who use a looser style of brush work, Sargent being one. But I have never had the opportunity to see a Sargent in person so the comparison's of distant and up close views Mark shows in some of his videos were very surprising to me. I have to admit there is a little bit of a disconnect for me if I have to stand 15 ft away to see a painting as the artist intended. Just a little bit. I can still appreciate the skill and vision required to control the chaos that appears to be there when viewed up close, but I have to back away to take in the full impact of the work. I saw a painting in the National Gallery in Washington DC. once, done in black and white of an old woman's face in a very realistic style. It was 8 ft square and I first saw it from well across the room and was immediately drawn to it. When I got close I discovered it was done entirely with inked thumb prints. I guess this is a long winded way of saying I agree with David...paint what you like, in the way you like. That is really all you have control over.
  • On blending, if I'm not mistaken Mark shows examples of blending when he he paints the bowl. First the colors are layed in but then he comes back in and blends the bands by shifting one into the other.
  • A good method on learning to blend is to make a B&W chart going from 1 to 10. Each value is a separate tone. In he end you can squint to see hoe they blend or go in and actually blend. Try different mediums.
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